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REVIEW: Bleu Blanc



Bleu Blanc is one of three new restaurants – all conceived by US chef David Myers – at the Renaissance Downtown, a stylish boutique hotel that backs on to the Dubai Canal. The chef has aimed to create a French farmhouse feel and the vintage wooden furniture and open fires certainly seem to do the trick.

Fire is unquestionably the key element here. From asparagus to crème brulee, almost every item on the menu passes through the enormous wood-fired oven at some point on its way to the table.

The French authenticity is cemented by executive chef Alexandre Szkaradkiewicz, a man whose zeal for a good meal is utterly infectious. As affable a chef as we’ve met, Alex bounces around the restaurant talking to guests and on occasions directly serves up the food he has created.

A ravioli starter is the first to be spooned to us by the Frenchman, directly from its dish. Slightly al dente, packed tightly with sun dried tomato and goats cheese, and dressed in a generously garlicky homemade pesto, the pasta parcels are frankly wonderful. It is one of a number of a dishes – the tomato salad and oysters with brown butter sauce must also be included – to capture the freshness that is the essence of Provence and the Mediterranean coast.

The spiced lamb kebabs are a meaty masterpiece, spiked with a skewer. The blackened asparagus with parmesan and aioli is beaten only by a big bowl of aubergine that has been smoked with the skin on. Thrown directly into the embers of the fire, then pureed with herbs, this is a dip that really delights.

Bleu Blanc nails the desserts, too. The ‘Oops I dropped the Black Forest Gateaux’ and baked ganache tart with caramel popcorn are particular highlights for those with a sweet tooth.

It is always a mix of joy and relief when a chef with a big reputation delivers in Dubai. And if Bleu Blanc is anything to go by, we’ll be begging for more David Myers very soon.

Three to try

Tomato salad
Don’t let the simple name fool you. Using Dutch tomatoes that range in size and colour, the dish is a textural sensation with creamy goats cheese and crispy quinoa ensuring every mouthful delivers.

Spiced Lamb Kebabs
Served with onions and peppers, the key is the char from the olive and oakwood timber. It elevates the lamb and shows just what the open fire is capable of.

‘Oops I dropped the Black Forest Gateau’
A playful invention from executive chef Alex. Splodges of brownie, cream and soaked cherry ‘jewels’ are interspersed with shards of Guanaja chocolate. Coming to an art gallery near you soon.

Bleu Blanc
Where: Renaissance Downtown Hotel
Contact: +971 4 512 5533, website

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